One of my favorite verses is when Jesus appears to the disciples after the Resurrection. They were locked in a room, fearing for their lives after Jesus’ death.
Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. (John 20:19-20)
I like to imagine the shock of the disciples as Jesus walks through a locked door and into their room. This weekend, however, as we read this passage in church, the second half of the passage stood out to me. Jesus offers peace and comfort, then immediately shows the wounds of the cross. Now, this might be to prove that He is who He says He is, but I think there might be a little more to it. The wounds have not disappeared. The marks of suffering are still very present, but there is peace with them.
So many times, our suffering can have lasting effects. The memory of a difficult time can bring back pain, sorrow, and confusion. In this passage, however, Jesus shows us that the suffering can have meaning. It doesn’t go away, but there can be peace that covers it. It can be healed, even if the marks are still present.